In my life I have visited quite a few Marian Sanctuaries: Syracuse, Lourdes, Fatima, and so on. Now I want to talk about the Black Madonna of Czestochowa in Poland.
According to tradition, after Jesus’ death Mary went to stay with John and brought with her among her personal belongings a small wooden table that had been made by Jesus.
Later Luke, one of the evangelists, portrayed on the small table Mary and Baby Jesus.
As time went by, Mary’s and Jesus’ faces became black, probably due to the smoke from the candles and the aging of the wood.
The small table underwent many changes of ownership, until it arrived at Jasna Gora Monastery in Czestochowa.
In 1430 the monastery was attacked by a group of heretics, the small table wrenched away from the place where it was, and the painting slashed.
Later, the painting was restored but the slashes in Mary’s face appeared again.
When I arrived at the Monastery of Jasna Gora and entered the chapel where the precious painting is kept, I saw a few crutches hung on one of the walls; obviously, they had been left there by people who had been miraculously healed.
I remained a few minutes in front of the holy image and had the sensation that Mary was suggesting a new lifestyle: think less, lucubrate less, spend more time with friends and acquaintances.
Ettore Grillo, author of: